Revising the visuals that support oral presentation

METM 06, Barcelona
27-28 October 2006

Simon Bartlett
Friday 27, 10:10-11:20, Room 2

The service that a language editor provides often extends beyond correcting English syntax to include document restructuring and re-writing. When the text consists of presentation slides, effective editors need a working knowledge of the audience’s needs and of the discourse conventions of the discipline in question and how these will be influenced by the switch from written to spoken communication.

This talk will explore some of the issues that need to be considered when editing slide sets for oral presentations, with a focus on the communication of scientific research. These issues include timing, split audience attention between the speaker’s words and the on-screen image and/or text, and the need to re-emphasise key points. The talk will briefly examine strategies for adapting the conventional IMRaD structure to the context of audiovisual communication. These strategies might include 1) abridging background introductory material, 2) expanding description of the purpose of the study to signpost the scope of research and ideas to be presented, 3) avoiding methodological detail, 4) using a “mini-IMRaD” structure for each major result, and 5) preparing a memorable conclusion.

Simon Bartlett, PhD, Science Communication, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, Madrid, Spain